LEGOLAND Malaysia Theme Park Review

 

Disclaimer: This trip was not funded by LEGOLAND Malaysia at all. My wife and I paid for our LEGOLAND Malaysia tickets in full.
​It’s week two of my three week review series on my recent trip to LEGOLAND Malaysia. Last week I looked at the LEGOLAND Malaysia Hotel, and this week it’s time for the Theme Park.

​The Theme Park sits on a pretty decent sized section of real estate in Nusajaya, Johor, about 20km from the Singapore/Malaysia border. We were staying in Singapore the night before, so we got a bus over the border. It was a pretty straightforward exercise. If you’re not sure how to get to LEGOLAND Malaysia, the park’s website has some great instructions.

If you’re staying at the Hotel, it’s ridiculously simple. Head over to the lifts and hit LG2. This will bring you down to the Park level. As soon as you walk through the giant minifigures, you’ll see the park entrance to your right. It’s that simple!

LEGOLAND Malaysia Hotel from Park Entrance

The entrance looking back to the Hotel.

We paid for a combo ticket (with our Hotel accommodation). This allowed us access to the Theme Park and the Water Park (to be covered next week), for two days. Something to bear in mind though, that the two day combo ticket is two calendar days. If you are arriving in the middle of one day and departing in the middle of the next day, you can’t split a day’s worth of entrance over the two. If you do get the two day combo ticket, make sure you’re able to be there for at least two full days to get your ticket’s worth! The parks open at 10am and close at 6pm. There’s also options for Annual Passes, if you’re in the area frequently.

​We were at the park over a Monday and Tuesday. Being a weekday it was pretty quiet, so we didn’t have to wait in any lines, but the Monday was raining pretty solidly. Combine the rain with the fact that it was a Monday, and there wasn’t much atmosphere at all. The park was pretty much deserted, aside from a few die hard, poncho covered fans, and a school group or two. The Tuesday was a much better day, weather-wise. The sun was out, and that meant more people were around, so the atmosphere was much better. We still didn’t need to wait in any lines though!

The park is sectioned off into themed areas, all of which will be covered. They include:

  • The Beginning
  • LEGO Technic
  • LEGO Star Wars Miniland
  • LEGO Kingdoms
  • Imagination
  • LEGO Ninjago World
  • Land of Adventure
  • LEGO City
  • Miniland
​Before I go into the park though, I want to mention what’s outside the park. Now, you’re probably thinking “John, I don’t care what’s outside the park!”, but bear with me, because it’s pretty important. On the opposite side of the park entrance is a shopping complex. It’s got some basic cafes, some fast food, a deli or two, and most importantly, if you walk all the way through and to the left, a money changer. There are money changers in the park, but the rate is pretty terrible. The food here isn’t flash, but it’s slightly better than what’s on offer in the park – I’ll get to that later.

Time to turn around and head into the park! The classic LEGOLAND entrance is brilliant to look at. It looks like it’s been built from oversized LEGO elements, and there are even a few brick-built sculptures perched on it. There was an official photographer that was around while we were there, and he was happy to take some nice photos of us on my camera, for free. It was well worth it. As you head closer into the gate, you’ll see the ticket booths to the right of the security gates. Head through the gates, and someone will check your bags, before you are allowed through.

The Beginning

The Beginning is the entry section of LEGOLAND Malaysia. When you walk through the gates, you’ll see buildings either side of you. These include:

  • Big Shop
  • Mini Market
  • The Brick Shop
  • The Cafe (I’ll cover this one later)
​The first thing we went to was the Mini Market. This is a great place to get some essentials. We picked up some water, and a couple of rather fashionable bright yellow ponchos, as we would have been drowned out otherwise! There are a few smaller sets and odds and ends here, but don’t go spending early, as there is plenty more to see! This shop also has hireable prams and strollers.
​Next up is The Brick Shop. This wonderful store contains the build a minifigure, with RM10 giving you three minifigures, some standard selections of purchases that you’ll find everywhere in the park, and the shop’s central draw card, the Pick A Brick section. Now, this isn’t a standard PAB Wall. This one is different.
​The main difference here is the way it’s priced. Instead of the fill-up-a-cup deal, it’s all based on weight, with 100 grams costing you RM43 (around AUD$11 when I was there). The parts range from small 1×1 plates and tiles, to 2×2 tiles, slopes, plants, classic flowers, windscreens, wheels and tyres, to wings and bricks in all sorts of shapes. I’ve never had the joy of experiencing a PAB Wall, so I wasn’t sure how it compared, but it ends up being quite a bit more expensive, depending on what elements you get. After an hour’s research on BrickLink, comparing element weights with current prices, we realised that the smaller the part, the more cost effective it would be, as you’d get more elements for less, as they are lighter. I ended up sticking with some classic flower stems, red, pink and white flowers, the three leaf plants, some trans-red “fire” feathers, a stack of light stone grey 2×2 tiles (perfect for modulars), and some 1×2 printed envelope tiles. I was pretty happy, as I got a ton of them!

The Big Shop is aptly named – it’s big. At 1000 square metres of retail space, it boasts the largest selection of LEGO sets in Asia. There’s an amazing range in this store, and it’s great fun to wander around, as well as escape the heat for a while. We ended up spending big here, saving 95% of our shopping for here, and the rest at The Brick Shop. The staff are very helpful, and there’s loads to choose from that isn’t standard LEGO that we see in stores in Australia. There’s LEGOLAND tees, heaps of different seasonal sets, and more stuff like ice-cube trays and salt and pepper shakers in the shape of a 1×1 brick. It was extremely satisfying filling up a trolley, even if it was a tiny kid’s sized one! I had a blast here, and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Pricewise it’s all dependent on what you want to get. Standard sets that are available in Australia are about the same or a little dearer, but the special, retired and seasonal sets are cheaper, so it’s worth bringing a decent amount of cash.

The Food

Before we head into the park proper, let’s talk quickly about the food options. You’re in a theme park, so of course, it’s not going to be flash, and it’s far from that. Theme park food is typically greasy, quick, and carb loaded, and this is no different. There’s the Cafe at the entrance, which has a decent range of cakes and coffee options, as well as a number of restaurants dotted around the park, including the main eatery in the park – The Market Restaurant in the LEGO City section. There’s at least one food option in each section of the park, so as you wander around, you won’t be far from food. Be warned though, it’s quite pricey. Make sure you grab some chips at least – they’re sort of LEGO brick shaped!

The Park as a Whole

​If you’re heading to the park as an adult, you need to remember that this is a park aimed at kids. There aren’t any huge, scary rides, and sometimes the rides that are there aren’t able to fit a larger adult (I had some difficulty sitting in some of the rides!). Thrill seeking adults need not look here, unless they’re also LEGO fans!

Another thing to consider is the weather. Because of the harshness of the heat and humidity, I noticed that many of the sculptures, and especially some of the displays in Miniland were suffering a bit. Whites weren’t white anymore, blacks, more of a grey, and there was a fair bit of dirt and grime. It’s tough to keep something clean in that environment, especially when it’s intended to be for indoor play, but that’s the facts. Some of the Miniland displays had fallen over or broken completely, but for the most part, they were ok. They looked a little used, sure, but again, that’s the weather. It’s simply not feasible to replace items that are damaged or faded, as it’s quite an expensive exercise, in both monetary value, and time required. There were a few attractions aside from LEGO built items that were not functioning as well, so I got the feeling that for a park that’s four years old, it seemed like it had been there for closer to 10. Don’t let that put you off from going though. It’s well worth it.

LEGO Technic

After spending some time exploring The Beginning, we veered left and headed in to the park proper. The first section of the park for us was the Technic area. It’s a bit of a strange mixture to be honest, because it also includes Mindstorms (which does make some sense), and a ride centred around the Aquazone theme from the mid 1990s.
The first ride you see is the Technic Twister – similar to the standard teacup dizzy rides. It’s good fun for kids, but not all that exciting for the adults. I’m not usually a fan of the spinning rides, but this was doable. The seats look like oversized Technic constructions, which is fun.
​The Technic area also has one of the bigger rides, the Project X Roller Coaster. While still not hugely crazy, it’s got a good sized drop that gets the stomach jumping, and some nice zigzags that are a little hairy, as you feel like you’re about to come off the track! The cars that roll around are easily identifiable as Technique-like. It was good fun sitting in them feeling like a Technic figure.
​On the opposite side of the path is the Aquazone ride, called Wave Racers. It’s extremely simple, and probably fun for the kids, but we didn’t bother. You’re basically sitting on a carousel ride while getting sprayed with water. It looks cool, and the spectators are able to spray the riders with water, but when we checked them all out, the pressure was either non-existent or didn’t reach the ride.

The last attraction in this area was the Mindstorms Academy. This was actually pretty neat, and would be perfect for not only school students as a part of a class, but also for kids and their parents together. From what we could work out, it’s a series of rooms that have classes all about building and programming the Mindstorms robots, as well as different build competitions. We tried getting in, but unfortunately I misheard the instructions and we totally missed the start! Nevertheless, it looked brilliant, and not only that, but there’s an amazing Einstein head out the front of the building made from LEGO and Duplo. It was a very popular place for a photo!

LEGO Star Wars Miniland

Next on the list was the LEGO Star Wars building. It doesn’t look that amazing from the outside, and even from the first room, but trust me, this was one of my favourite sections of the entire place. As you walk up to the building, you’ll see some large sculptures of R2-D2 and C3-PO, Darth Vader, and a pretty great looking mural of the Death Star. The first room is a movie room. A 5 – 10 minute LEGO Star Wars animation is played, and then it’s time to head through to the rest of the attraction. The Star Wars Miniland is made up of seven rooms, each room depicting a scene from the six movies (in number order) and The Clone Wars animated series. The detail in this area is astonishing, and all the characters are completely brick-built, standing around 10cm tall. The website states that there’s more than 2000 models built to a 1:20 scale, using 1.5 million LEGO bricks.
​They’ve also all got buttons to press, which cause sounds and lights to turn on and add to the awesomeness of the scenes. The scenes include the Naboo Royal Palace, Geonosis, Kashyyk and Mistafar, the desert of Tatooine, the classic scene from Hoth, some amazing forestry from Endor, and finishing off with Christophsis from The Clone Wars.
I was really impressed with these displays. The massive Millenium Falcon, huge battle scenes and especially Hoth and Endor were simply incredible. We ended up going back so I could take more photos! It’s so easy to spend ages through here, and if you have the time, make sure you take in every detail.

The Miniland ends up in a LEGO Star Wars specific shop, so you can purchase all the Star Wars sets to recreate them at home. The prices are a little dearer than what you’d expect to pay in Australia, but there’s still a pretty good choice.

LEGO Kingdoms

​The LEGO Kingdoms section is one of the bigger sections of the park, and it’s chock full of medieval-ness! From the guardian birds at the entrance, to the sleeping soldier, dragon school, and animals dotted around the park, to the medieval music being pumped out of the speakers, the Forestmen’s Hideout playground for the kids, and oh yes, the giant castle that dominates the section, there’s plenty to see. There’s sideshow attractions dotted around, a stage, that while not used when we were there, looked cool, another shop almost dedicated to the Nexo Knights (they’re promoted very heavily throughout the park due to their recent addition).
​There are two roller coasters side by side here too. The Dragon’s Apprentice, perfect for the little kids, and the Dragon, situated next to the castle. This one has a bit more of an adult feel to it, but it’s still very tame – great for the school aged kids. There’s also Merlin’s challenge for the real littlies, and the King’s Grill, where we had a bite to eat. I recommend the burgers. They’re quite decent for theme park food!
​Lastly there’s the super cute Royal Joust. It’s a smaller monorail type ride just for the little kids. Seeing them ride around on oversized classic LEGO horses was great. They looked super impressed!

​I really liked this section. It was great to explore and feel like I was walking around the grounds of a castle. It’s a shame the castle doesn’t even remotely look like it was built out of LEGO, standard sized or oversized, but it was still great. The sculptures around the walkway up above are a welcome addition – there are some beauties!

Imagination

​Imagination is the big playground section of the park. There’s a huge covered playground in the middle, along with a simple ride for the kids. the Power Tower is a big tower that looks like a big jumble of LEGO, akin to what you’d see a kid building when a box of LEGO is given to them. The idea is to pull yourself up this tower. There are seat all around it, with a rope and pulley attached. It looks like a bit of work, but I’m sure the kids would enjoy it.
​There’s also a fantastic building off to the side, that’s thankfully air-conditioned with a bunch of things to do. There’s a racing ramp, with the kids (and adults) building a car, and then seeing who’s is the fastest. We gave it a go, which was brilliant fun. Some kids are pretty clever with their designs! There’s also a Duplo challenge, with a tower being made on a Duplo baseplate that shakes like an earthquake. It’s a good educational tool, and great fun too.
​The drawcard of the area is the Observation Tower. It’s the best way to get a bird’s eye view of the park, and it’s also air-conditioned. The whole deck rotates around the pillar so you get to see everything.

The final attraction in Imagination is the new LEGO Studios 4D cinema. LEGO films are shown regularly throughout the day, complete with the typical 3D glasses, and the occasional chair rumble and foam being sprayed on you to mimic snow. It’s good fun, however the 3D effects aren’t perfect. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to adjust your eyes. It was still quite good, and sucked me in to the 3D effects every now and then!

LEGO Ninjago World

​The newest attraction at the park is LEGO Ninjago World. It opened in November this year, so it’s quite new! From the sparkly new Ninjago Temple complete with Ninjago characters to the awesome grey dragon guardians, this is one area not to miss. Inside the temple, you’ll find some information about the Ninjago characters, and a sneaky extra feature. We almost walked past this, until I noticed something.
Stand in the square marked out and strike a pose, and the screen will mimic your outline in digital flowing LEGO bricks. It was pretty cool to see, but kids have to stand close enough to the edge of the square to be picked up, but it still barely makes the screen. It’s great for adults though! Keep walking through the maze and you’ll get to the interactive ride. One tip – pay attention to the information screens as you walk up. It took us two times to figure out the moves!

LEGOLAND Malaysia - Ninjago World

One of the instruction screens.

The ride will see you sitting in a typical roller coaster chair, but there’s a scoreboard and a movement sensor on the panel in front of you. Pop on the supplied 3D glasses and move your hands in a downwards karate-chop like motion and you’ll “throw” digital ninja stars! It was pretty neat, and loads of fun. Some people are really good as well, as was noticed in the final scoreboards! Each chair will rotate to the ride walls that are big projections of Ninjago scenes. You’re essentially helping out the Ninjago characters defeat baddies.

Land of Adventure

​Moving on! It’s time to follow Johnny Thunder through the Land of Adventure. There’s two sections to the Land of Adventure – Dino Island, and Egypt. This was a fantastic section of the park. The biggest ride in the area, and in the park as a whole is the water based Dino Island. Here you’re squeezed into a boat (bigger adults, prepare to play a bit of origami with your legs! It’s a bit tight), and floated down a river with dinosaurs and Pirates Islanders sculptures left and right. It’s highly detailed. All of a sudden you get hoisted up into the mountain, overseen by King Kahuka, before hurtling down the other side ending in a soaking as water goes everywhere! It was brilliant, and my favourite ride in the park, regardless of my origami legs. It was strange though, having this one as the only water ride in the main park. I thought it would be more suited to the Water Park, but there you go. I’d suggest hitting this one first, before heading to the water park for a proper soaking!
​The other half of the Land of Adventure is Egypt. There are a few more attractions here, specifically for the little kids. There’s Beetle Bounce, with small towers that have you seated on a bar, then lifted up and relatively gently dropped. It’s not gut wrenching, but some kids might get a bit of a fright.
​Pharaoh’s Revenge is a multi level play area that’s quite fun. Air cannons are used here to propel foam balls around the place. It’s good, but very warm in there!

​Lastly, there’s Lost Kingdom. This one is similar to the Ninjago ride, as a coaster will some interaction. You sit in a chair with a laser gun and you have to shoot red dots in some pretty amazing LEGO scuplted scenes. This one was pretty fun, however my wife’s gun wasn’t working, so she had to reach behind for the free one behind her. If the cars are full, then you’re going to be out of luck! Let’s hope that they all work.

LEGO City

​On to LEGO City. There’s loads of attractions crammed in this section, but we didn’t really give any ago, as there was nobody on them, plus they’re all really meant for the younger kids. The area is quite good though, as there’s a fair bit of interactivity.
​​There’s the City Airport – another spinny one, except you’re in a plane, and the Fire Rescue Academy, which gets you in character as a firefighter. Pump the handles on the trucks to move the vehicle towards to building on fire, then use the water cannons to put the flames (not real) out. It’s clever.
There’s also some boat and car driving rides that looked quite fun…
As well as an amazing playground called The Shipyard. It looked cool as!
Also located in this section is the station for the LEGOLAND Express. We missed the train a couple of times, but we did see it chugging along – it looked brilliant. Don’t forget to grab a copy of the LEGOLAND Express set, exclusively at LEGOLAND.
The final thing in this section is something that should not be missed – we were pleasantly surprised by it! The LEGO City Stage is another theatrette that hosts puppetry. Before we go inside, I thought the building reminded me of the cinema in 10184: Town Plan from 2008. This in itself is a special set as it features Kjekd Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of the founder, on the cover, replicating the cover from 1958, in which he starred as well! It’s not exactly the same, but it’s similar.

Anyway, inside is a brilliant (I really mean that) puppet show with the Ninjago characters. The puppetry is really good, and had us as adults enthralled in the story. It’s definitely not one to miss. It’s fantastic.

Miniland

The last section in the park is easily my favourite. Miniland is an amazing collection of huge builds of landmarks from all over Asia. They are all incredibly detailed, even down to the brick built people walking around. There’s so much to look at, me writing about it here just isn’t the same. You need to check it out yourself.
We didn’t see the KL sections as they were being worked on, so we missed out on the enormous Petronas Twin Towers, but there’s loads of others, like Angkor Wat, Tanah Lot, the Forbidden City, Taj Mahal, and downtown Singapore, but my favourite would be the pirate scene. It’s incredible. Sure, there’s a bit of wear and tear, but it’s so easily overlooked.
​These are huge dioramas and I could spend hours exploring every detail. I got ridiculously hot taking photos of it all, but it was totally worth it! I could go on for hours, but instead I’ll just post up some photos. Seriously…wow!

​So that’s it for the LEGOLAND Theme Park. Next week I’ll be wrapping up the series by writing about the Water Park. If you’ve been to LEGOLAND Malaysia before, please let me know what you thought! I hope this series is useful to potential travellers!

For more photos, take a look at the full album on Flickr.

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